Scary Compliance Company or Valued Growth Agent? – with Gaming Laboratories International

Many of us in the industry will be well aware of Gaming Laboratories International and its formidable position in the gaming industry. GLI is best known for being a top tier testing and certification company for some of the biggest gaming operators in the industry, but there is actually a lot more they have to offer the wider market.

Some smaller businesses may find the thought of working with a company like this impractical because of their sheer size, however, they would be surprised to know that GLI actually can do a lot to benefit smaller operators, especially those hoping to expand into emerging markets like Africa.

To find out more about the emerging markets-focused growth opportunities that GLI have to offer, we spoke with Devon Dalbock, General Manager of GLI Africa. He gave us a fantastic insight into GLI and how their resources and position in industry can be best leveraged to drive the growth of small businesses going forward.

GLI gaming certification is recognised worldwide, providing a foundation for industry integrity across a multitude of markets. Does GLI certification benefit both small and large companies equally?

“It doesn’t matter if you are a small or large company, the same rules apply in terms of regulation and certification. GLI is here to help everybody.

“We are working with a lot of new smaller suppliers and operators particularly in the iGaming market, and they really benefit from the experience and knowledge our people have.

“The world of compliance, certification and technical standards can be extremely confusing for suppliers and operators, and not getting the right support and advice early on can be very costly.

“GLI might seem a bit intimidating to some smaller suppliers and operators, but we have offices all over the world full of industry experts who are also approachable and friendly and are here to help them achieve their goals and be successful.” 

In growing regions such as East Africa, online and mobile penetration are at some of the highest levels in the Continent. As the market continues to rapidly expand, how can GLI services help to make this growth sustainable?

“Without a doubt, the gaming industry is fast-moving, and it’s important that GLI has the insights into the future to help both ourselves and our clients maximise any opportunities and be ready for any challenges.

“It would have been easy to sit back in Covid and just wait and see what happened, but we knew that online gaming would flourish during that time, and we wanted to make sure we were ready for that new demand but also that we were there to support our land-based clients who have had a really tough time. That’s why we have been expanding our teams across the globe to ensure we have the right people and experts in place to meet the growing demand from the industry and our clients.

“There continue to be challenges for operators with German legislation changes for online, and technical standards changing in Denmark and Sweden, and that’s where GLI can add real value. The gaming world is continuously changing. but we strive to stay one step ahead so that our clients keep evolving.”

During the pandemic, the Tanzanian government, as well as many other African countries, had to react quickly to minimise losses and passed laws allowing for online casino and virtual sports licenses. How can government and industry work better together to ensure the highest of gaming standards are kept at all times, especially in emerging markets?

“The pandemic and associated lockdowns certainly perpetuated the rise of online gaming and wagering. As you stated, there is a high rate of mobile penetration in some African markets, and this coupled with the ease of mobile money, saw many punters turning to use their phones and other mobile devices to gamble. In many cases, regulators were on the back foot and had to react swiftly. Reacting to a situation, however, often leads to further confusion or lack of clarity.

“GLI provides advisory services to many governments and regulators in emerging markets across the globe to assist them in formulating legislative frameworks. Those frameworks allow them to fulfil their mandate of regulating the iGaming industry with regards the six pillars of regulation: preventing underage gambling, geolocation, network security, player protection, game fairness, and payment processing, while at the same time taking into account the requirements and challenges of the suppliers and operators.”

Gaining certification is quite a transactional and technical process. How else can GLI help businesses to understand and realise their long-term objectives?

“Testing and certifying gaming devices and systems is a major part of what GLI does, but we’re also here to help our clients understand ongoing compliance obligations in land-based, iGaming, sports betting, and lottery.

“We offer end-to-end support for you via our Integrated Compliance Solutions. We’re always working with operators, suppliers, and jurisdictions around the globe so we can provide the most up-to-date information and resources, no matter where our clients are in the process. When we engage with a new client for example, we don’t just look at a project in isolation, we take time to really understand where they want to go as a business. By doing that, we can take a more strategic view of what support they will need from us longer-term and build that into the project plans saving them time and money further down the line.

“Integrated compliance isn’t just about a certificate to us; it’s an ongoing relationship to help maintain compliance and ensure our clients remain proactive.”

Editor’s Note:

From catching up with Devon, it’s clear to see that there is a massive opportunity there for smaller suppliers and operators to tap into. GLI’s global network of regulators and other key market stakeholders make them an ideal source of knowledge and experience for new market entrants to feed off.

There has clearly been a narrative created that GLI only works with other similar-sized companies, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As emerging markets such as Africa continue to flourish, the presence of well-equipped companies such as GLI will help to ensure this growth is sustained well into the future. Expanding in new territories can be challenging even for large companies with a mass of resources, so it only makes sense that the smaller operators or suppliers take the best advantage of what GLI have to offer and secure success well into the future.

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